Change Your Facebook Banner

We all know Facebook is awesome for keeping up with friends, sharing about your life, and even distributing ideas. One great new way to get people thinking is to take advantage of the new banner profile with the help of Intellectual Takeout. Here's what one of our banners looks like loaded up on a Facebook profile:

Facebook Banner

If you haven't changed your banner profile, than Facebook is likely auto-populating it with photos from your album(s) or from photos you've been tagged in. While those photos are sure nice, have you thought about changing it to promote freedom? If not, below are some ideas and instructions for you to consider.

Step 1 - Pick one of the images below:

Step 2 - Right click on the image you want and save it to your computer.

Step 3 - Go to Profile Banner on Facebook. Click here. You'll see a menu titled "Upload Your Own":

Facebook Profile Banner

Choose the image file you saved to your computer. Then you'll need to select "Scale, Crop & Rotate Image." After that, click "Upload." Once you click "Upload" you'll need to "Squash", "Scale", and maneuver the image to fit into the boxes. Once it looks good, click "Post" and then follow the directions after that. Enjoy! 

The Amagi

According to Liberty Fund, the Amagi (or Ama-gi) "is the earliest-known written appearance of the word 'freedom' (amagi), or 'liberty.' It is taken from a clay document written about 2300 B.C. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash." Learn more here.

Amagi Freedom Cuneiform

 

The Goal is Freedom

We do not seek to implement a rigid ideology, to create an empire, or force people to live a certain way. Rather, the goal is to live in a nation in which individual freedom, including economic freedom, is seen as a just end in and of itself. Indeed, what nation is greater than one that exists to protect and promote the individual liberties of its citizens?

Goal is Freedom

 

Read the Constitution

We all know there are a variety of ways of looking at the Constitution. Whatever your position, the thing to keep in mind is that it is the document binding the country together, our social contract if you will. It's something worth reminding your friends and family to read. 

Read the Constitution

 

Only Congress can Declare War

Thinking about Libya? Remember, only Congress can declare war. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution reads, "The Congress shall have Power  ... To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water." In other words, the President can't make war without the consent of Congress.

Only Congress can Declare War

 

The 10th Amendment

Tired of the federal government overstepping its bounds? Remind your friends and family that if the Constitution doesn't grant the United States government the power to do something, then that power is reserved for the states or the people. To learn more about the 10th Amendment, click here.

10th Amendment  

 

The 2nd Amendment

Do you cherish the right to defend yourself? If so, promote that Constitutional right with the banner below. To learn more about the 2nd Amendment, click here.

2nd Amendment

 

Dear TSA: Read the 4th Amendment

The 4th Amendment states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Does that sound like what's happening at the airports and train stations? Show how you feel about it with the banner below. To learn more about the TSA, click here.

TSA 4th Amendment

 

The 4th Amendment

These days the government is always looking for an excuse to search your stuff. Do we really want to live in a country where cops and government officials can search your person or your property willy-nilly? No. Make sure your friends know their Constitutional rights by using the banner below.

4th Amendment

 

Time to Balance the Budget

Worried about the federal government's runaway spending? We are, too. $14.3 trillion in debt is way too much. It's time to balance the budget and for the government to live within its means. To learn more about the national debt, click here.

balance the budget

 

Inflation

The rise in prices at the pump and grocery store isn't an act of God. The Federal Reserve, the folks in charge of our money, have made inflation a policy. Help your friends and family understand the root cause of what's going on with the banner below. To learn more about inflation, click here.

Inflation Monetary Policy Friedman

 

Fear the Boom and Bust

Are you thinking things with the economy just aren't right? You're not alone. The folks in charge believe that more credit and printing money will get things going again. While that might be true for a little while, history tells us the effort is unsustainable and ultimately ends in a bust. 

Hayek Fear the Boom and Bust

 

Depression and Credit Expansion

Ludwig von Mises, the notable economist, once stated that, "Depression is the aftermath of credit expansion." Now that most Americans have experienced the Housing Bubble, driven mainly by credit expansion (easy money), many of us have learned the lesson. Unfortunately, the worst may still be ahead as the federal government props up the economy by borrowing and spending roughly 10% of the economy. If you want to learn more about deflation, click here

Deflation

 

Who is John Galt?

If you're looking around, thinking things are falling apart, and that government seems to be working against you, you might be right. In Ayn Rand's famous tome, Atlas Shrugged, "Who is John Galt?" becomes the line that sums up that sentiment. If you haven't read Atlas Shrugged, it's a classic and controversial novel that's well worth a read. Get it here

Atlas Shrugged

 

Competition is Cooperation

Too often these days society seems intent on promoting the idea that competition is evil and that only by cooperating with each other can we build a just and prosperous future. The reality is that competition is a form of cooperation. Furthermore, competition has created tremendous prosperity, particularly compared to societies organized around forced cooperation. If you want to spread the message that competition is a good thing, then throw up the banner below. To learn more about competition, click here

Competition is Cooperation

 

Don't Tread on Me

A classic in the liberty movement. Widely recognized as a symbol of the liberty movement, the motto says it all, "Don't Tread on Me." In other words, let the individual be free to pursue his or her ambitions. You can learn more about the history of the Gadsden Flag here.

 Don't Tread on Me

Prices Communicate Information

Few individuals mind when prices go down. But when prices go up, depending on the good for sale, the public outcry can be enormous. More often than not, politicians will want to "fix" things with wage and price controls. History has repeatedly shown, even here in the U.S., that wage and price controls do not work. The ability to freely set prices is fundamental to a market economy. Prices communicate information and help individuals properly allocate scarce resources. To learn more about the role of prices, click here.

Prices

 Wage and Price Controls Don't Work

Wage and Price Controls

 

We're on the Road to Serfdom

The famous economist F.A. Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom in which he explored the competing ideas of classical liberalism, fascism, and socialism as well as compared individualism and collectivism. His basic message is that as individuals trade life in a free society for security through economic planning that they will inevitably become more and more impoverished and enslaved to the state (i.e., serfdom). If you haven't read the book, it is a must-read. You can purchase it here. Where are we now? We're on the road to serfdom.

We're on the Road to Serfdom

 

Property Rights are a Cornerstone of Freedom

Who owns you? Do you own yourself or does the government own you? It's a fundamental philosophical question that reveals how central the concept of property rights is to individual freedom.

Property is a Cornerstone of Freedom

 

Learn more about the ideas of individual liberty at IntellectualTakeout.org:

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Commentary or Blog Post

"I was puzzled by Charles Larmore's review of Charles Taylor's new book, A Secular Age, in the current New Republic. The book is sprawling and often maddening, but it is very important (I've tried to do it justice in my own review in the forthcoming issue of First Things), and I give Larmore high marks for his accurate (if prickly) summaries of the...

"The most popular objection to religion is that it replaces thinking with sets of unprovable truths — and that the rules flowing out of those truths turn adherents into robots. Those who leave religion behind, we are led to understand, will begin to think for themselves and thereby exercise real freedom as responsible citizens. This is the theory. But that is not how things have turned out."...

"Aristotle himself said that 'the best is often unattainable, and therefore the true legislator and statesman ought to be acquainted not only with that which is best in the abstract but also with that which is best relative to the circumstances.' For people like us in a society like ours, this means a liberal political order, understood as a related set of pragmatic political compromises among...

"As Pope Benedict XVI prepares to relinquish his office, church leaders planning for a new pontiff are sure to deliberate over one of his longtime goals: replenishing Europe's deserted pews."

"THE proportion of people who regularly attend religious services has declined steadily throughout Europe in recent years. But habits vary widely across countries."

"Which of the 50 states has the most religious population? Since there are many ways to define 'religious,' there is no single answer to this question. But to give a sense of how the states stack up, the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life used polling data to rank them on four measures: the importance of religion in people's lives, frequency of attendance at worship...

"Whatever is meant by secularization, few will dispute that in this century the public culture has become less religious. This is not, as some suggest, simply the result of the separation of church and state that first happened some two centuries earlier. Such separation did not then entail the alienation of culture from its religious roots. In America, for instance, the end of state-...

"Far from being incompatible with it, Islam will have its place in the globalizing world. Islamic revival is part of the world-wide religious resurgence that corrects the secularist bias of European modernity. Globalization is a driving force in this process."

"Like a lot of people these days, I'm a recovering secularist. Until September 11 I accepted the notion that as the world becomes richer and better educated, it becomes less religious. Extrapolating from a tiny and unrepresentative sample of humanity (in Western Europe and parts of North America), this theory holds that as history moves forward, science displaces dogma and reason replaces...

A short selection from Nietzsche's book, The Gay Science. This section tells the story of the Madman, who famously uttered the words, "God is dead."

"By secularism, or more specifically political secularism, I mean institutional arrangements such that religious authority and religious reasons for action and political authority and political reasons for action are distinguished - so, political authority does not rest on religious authority and the latter does not dominate political authority."

"The logic of social leveling applies to more than property. Indeed, socialism and secularism are closely related to one another. While socialism seeks to erase the economic distinctions between human beings by taking individual choices about property out of people's hands, secularism seeks to erase the religious differences between people by making religion irrelevant to the...

"To me secularism is both a doctrine and a set of porous practices that embody and exceed it. It is, first, challenged by some modes of thought that fit into neither a secular nor a theocratic container; and it is, second, troubled by operational practices that stretch and break its key assumptions and categories."

"One of the most startling developments of the late twentieth century has been the emergence within every major religious tradition of a militant piety popularly known as 'fundamentalism.' Its manifestations are sometimes shocking. Fundamentalists have gunned down worshippers in a mosque, have killed doctors and nurses who work in abortion clinics, have shot their presidents, and have even...

"'We haven't yet solved the problem of God,' the Russian critic Belinsky once shouted across the table at Turgenev, 'and you want to eat!'

Charles Taylor would prefer that we feast upon the 874 pages of his new book 'A Secular Age,' which offers musings and perceptions from every field of knowledge except knowledge of God, which he leaves off the menu."

"We have all heard it said that the war on terrorism pits liberal democracy against religious fanaticism. There is a measure of truth in that. Others say the conflict is between a secular understanding of society and a society defined by religiously based morality. That, I suggest, is both untrue and dangerous.

It is untrue because it ignores how, as a matter of historical fact, liberal...

"Much about the new atheism that has emerged in the past few years seems tedious and overhyped. The worst of it, however, may be the sheer amount of cultural oxygen squandered on reenactments of old debates. Evidently a segment of the Anglo-American public has a boundless appetite for heroic restagings of Inherit the Wind and fireside retellings of the war between science and religion...

"It sounds naive, but disagreement about the basic significance of 'secularism' is a recurrent problem in today's discussions. There may, however, be important reasons for the muddle that besets critical literatures on 'the secular,' 'secularity,' 'secularism' and 'secularization,' sending them around this question again and again."

Chart or Graph

"[I]t is possible to devise a typology based on a binary model of hard and soft secularism."

Age Composition of Atheist, Agnostic and No Religion.

Belief that God Performs Miracles: Identifers by Religious Tradition.

This map graphs the frequency of church attendance in the U.S. by state.

This graph shows the importance of religion by state.

"The general U.S. population is about evenly distributed among Democrats, Republicans, and independents. In contrast, a clear majority of Atheists are politically independent, as seen in Figure 3-5."

Percentage of No Faith in Each State.

This graph shows the degree of religious observance in selected countries.

"The national poll result, shown in Figure 1-3, was 10 percent secular, 6 percent somewhat secular, 38 percent somewhat religious, and 37 percent religious. This shows that a generally secular outlook is held by 16 percent of American adults, or 33 million people."

Analysis Report White Paper

"Leviathan (1651) marks an important turning point in Hobbes's thinking about religion. For the first time he becomes fully aware of what may be called the political problem of religion. Already in the De Cive (1642) Hobbes had dedicated one third of his book to that topic, the last section entitled 'Of religion.'"

In sum, and given what we know now about the religious and familial situation in Western Europe some 125 years later, Nietzsche was right to declare that the great Christian cathedrals of Europe had become tombs. But he may have been wrong about what exactly had been buried in them.

"Atheism is back—or so you might imagine from so many writers in recent months, one after another declaring a proud and militant rejection of God and all His works."

This book presents a fascinating account of the inconsistent evidence a sit valiantly struggles to chart the diversity to be found among the neglected variables of disbelief and unbelief. We have recently become familiar with the category 'spiritual but not religious' without really knowing what this means to those who identify themselves as such.

Religion survives because it answers three questions that every reflective person must ask. Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live? We will always ask those three questions because homo sapiens is the meaning-seeking animal, and religion has always been our greatest heritage of meaning.

"If by 'secularism' we mean a perspective that dismisses the possibility of a transcendent realm of being, or treats the existence of such a realm as an irrelevancy, then we should have expected religious beliefs and practices to wither away by now. To be sure, one can grant that the taboos and superstitions of the great religions transmitted a useful kernel of moral teaching. But their...

The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey includes reliable estimates of the size of religious groups in the United States as well as detailed information on their demographic characteristics, religious beliefs and practices, and basic social and political values.

To put together - in order to relate to one another - the terms worship and secular age, seems to presuppose that we have a clear understanding of both of them, that we know the realities they denote, and that we thus operate on solid and thoroughly explored grounds. But is this really the case?

Video/Podcast/Media

"Samuel Gregg, Director of Research at the Acton Institute and author of Becoming Europe: Economic Decline, Culture, and How America Can Avoid a European Future, joins host Al Kresta on Ave Maria Radio's Kresta in the Afternoon to discuss recent developments in secularism in Europe and the impact of those developments on religious liberty and social dialogue."

"Western social theory once insisted that modernization meant secularization and secularization meant the withering away of religion. But religion hasn't withered away, and this has forced a rethinking of the whole idea of the secular. IDEAS producer David Cayley talks to Craig Calhoun, Director of the London School of Economics, and Rajeev Barghava...

"A recent Pew survey found that an unprecedented one in five Americans now say they are not affiliated with any religious denomination. Or, looked at another way, nearly four out of five identify with an organized faith. Research also shows those Americans overstate how often they go to church by about half."

"This is a lecture given by Professor Alan Dershowitz on the topic of secularism. The talk was given during a 2007 conference in New York City, organized by the Center for Inquiry titled 'Secuar Society and its Enemies.'"

"One of the world's leading commentators on religious affairs, Karen Armstrong discusses the intersection of religion and secularism in contemporary life. She explores the ideas that Islam, Judaism and Christianity have in common and their effect on world events."

"Political liberty and religious freedom were driving forces behind the settlement of the 'New World' and led to the founding of an exceptional nation. Throughout our American story, the role of religious principle and faith juxtaposed to the political realm of compromise and expediency has proved to be a matter for ongoing and often heated debate. It is possible, however, to bridge the divide...

Dr. Charles Taylor lectures and answers questions on secularism.

"In How the West Really Lost God, leading cultural critic Mary Eberstadt delivers a powerful new theory about the decline of religion in the Western world. The conventional wisdom is that the West first experienced religious decline, followed by the decline of the family. Eberstadt, however, marshals an array of research, from historical data on family decline in pre-Revolutionary...

"Some of the nation's leading journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in December, 2007, for the Pew Forum's biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life.

Given the recent popularity of several high-profile books on atheism, the Pew Forum invited Wilfred McClay, a distinguished professor of intellectual history, to speak on the historical relationship between...

This video presents a proponent of Secularism describing his beliefs. According to the video, "Secular principles encourage fairness and mutual consideration and help us all within reasonable limits to live together in the way we choose."

A short video on Robert G. Ingersoll's 1887 essay, "Secularism."

Primary Document

Transcript of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution.

Tocqueville's famous analysis of the American economic and political system, as he observed during his travels of the country in the 1830s.

"The Open Court, in which the series of articles constituting this work originally appeared, has given account of many forms of faith, supplementary or confirmatory of its own, and sometimes of forms of opinions dissimilar where there appeared to be instruction in them. It will be an advantage to the reader should its editor state objections, or make comments, as he many deem necessary and...

Other than the First Amendment's establishment clause, Jefferson's Danbury Baptist letter is undoubtedly one of the most influential writings on American religious liberty. Containing the famous "wall of separation" phrase, Jefferson's words in this private letter have been...

Hobbes argued that a state of nature (an environment without a government imposing order) would be "the war of all against all" and life in such an environment would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

The following Notes were written in Virginia in the year 1781, and somewhat corrected and enlarged in the winter of 1782, in answer to Queries proposed to the Author, by a Foreigner of Distinction, then residing among us.

"Secularism is the religion of humanity; it embraces the affairs of this world; it is interested in everything that touches the welfare of a sentient being; it advocates attention to the particular planet in which we happen to live; it means that each individual counts for something; it is a declaration of intellectual independence; it means that the pew is superior to the pulpit, that those...

"The Gay Science is a remarkable book, both in itself and as offering a way into some of Nietzsche's most important ideas. The history of its publication is rather complex, and it throws some light on the development of his thought and of his methods as a writer. He published the first edition of it in 1882. …

The Gay Science is a prime example of what is often called...

"In this new Edition I find little to alter and less to add. In a passage on page 27, the distinction between Secular instruction and Secularism is explained, in these words:—'Secular education is by some confounded with Secularism, whereas the distinction between them is very wide. Secular education simply means imparting Secular knowledge separately—by itself, without admixture of Theology...

Books

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